It was amazing to see so many people and kids on bicycles in Karakalpakiya, a remote desert village in northern Uzbekistan. Because there were very few cars on the streets the kids could run and cycle around safely—the whole village was like a giant playground. It reminded me of how fortunate I was to have a similar childhood, and what a shame it is for a lot of today's kids. I've seen so many cities now, hundreds even, where the streets are so wide and full of cars that it takes minutes just to cross the road. People don't know their neighbours who live across from them and you will barely find any child playing outside (except in some tiny designated area). What kind of childhood is that? This is something that we overlooked in our quest for money and strong economies; a first world problem driven by greed. We transformed our residential streets from places to live into channels to drive vehicles down and not much else. We carved up our neighbourhoods for convenience and laziness. I'm really glad I came across this army of joyful children, whizzing around on their cheap and sturdy single-speed Soviet bicycles, to remind me that there are happier alternatives to what we perhaps define as the peak of our "civilization". We often think of poorer countries as needing help, but in many respects I believe we ought to help sort out the problems we created in our own societies first. And with that, here's to the bicycle: nothing else I've witnessed has brought so much joy to children across the globe!